This weekend was rather relaxing. On Saturday we finished our morning routine early. It was a cloudy lazy day so we lounged on the veranda (enjoying the cool breeze we get up there) and relaxed…and watched birds. It is amazing the diversity out here – every single day we see a new bird in the yard. That afternoon I saw a flash of golden/green come out of the trees and fly across the yard with the kiskadees in hot pursuit. Under the gray sky this bird practically glowed golden – it was so beautiful. I managed to take some not great pictures of it and I think it might be a saltator – now the fun of watching for it to get a better look at it begins!
But the greatest thing that happened on Saturday is that it rained. Not a heavy rain or even a long rain, but a quick shower and the entire garden came to life. There were birds everywhere and they were all bathing. Bathing birds in trees, on branches, in the shrubs, on top of the hedge – the chorus was amazing. It was a very special moment.
Today the weather was clear and hot and we got back to work! Nikki has a large aviary on her property with, I believe, 5 yellow-headed amazons in it. Unfortunately in Belize the yellow-headed population is on a very steep decline – they make popular pets (but they are not good pets) and they are being taken out of the wild. It is very sad. So Nikki has plans to potentially start a breeding program with the yellow-heads – they are not releasable because they are too habituated. She is building a series of smaller aviaries around this large aviary and she is hoping bonded pairs will use these smaller aviaries as apartments to raise families in, if you will, and still have access to the large flight aviary. Two of those aviaries have been completed and today we moved two yellow-headed amazons in to their respective aviaries. It was the greatest aviary move I have ever been involved in! One of the parrots is named Polly-wu. Polly-wu was the first one to be let out of his kennel into his new aviary and he was nervous – until the females in the large aviary started calling to him. Feeling braver, he marched out of his kennel with a loud, triumphant “POLLY-WUUUU!!” It was spectacular! He then put on a full display for the females, the vocalizations were very impressive. The other yellow-head, Lorito-joe, wasn’t feeling as brave and needed a helping hand to get out of his kennel and in to the aviary. When I check on them tonight they were both exploring their new digs. Working with parrots is pretty darn awesome!